Hawks’ Crawford throws water on smack-talk charges

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Jamal Crawford's words after game two against the Bulls apparently irritated some folks in Chicago. (AP photo)

Only in the playoffs do we get implausible story lines like this: “Jamal Crawford throws down gauntlet!”

There was some pretty funny stuff at this morning’’s shoot-arounds for tonight’s playoff game between the Hawks and Chicago. It won’t quite reach the grease-fire level of Jameer Nelson’s “Catch you in the second round” comment before the Orlando series, but apparently Crawford is public enemy No. 1 in Chicago.

Several Chicago media members (mostly television) asked Bulls players to respond to Crawford’s comments’ following the Hawks’ game two loss, which began with: “If that’s their best shot, we’re in good shape.” Crawford’s entire quote in context wasn’t nearly that strong. But a few Bulls players were baited into responding.

♦ Carlos Boozer: “Is that what he said? He has the right to his opinion. I’m not into talking in the papers. I’m more [do the ] walking on the court kind of guy. We’ll see him tonight.”

♦ Derrick Rose: “That’s his opinion. To us, that wasn’t our best game of the postseason. That wasn’t our best game at all.”

The funny thing about this is anyone who knows Crawford also knows that he’s the last guy who would engage in any smack-talking or provide bulletin board material. When media members descended on him after the Hawks’ workout, he smiled and quickly tried to defuse the bomb.

“It’s the playoffs — everything is magnified,” he said. “But the whole conversation was that it was a must-win game for them. They were at home. It was the MVP celebration [for Derrick Rose]. So they had everything working in their favor and we still had a chance to win, even though we didn’t play well. It wasn’t like I was saying I don’t respect them. That would be foolish of me. They had 18 more wins than we did. We just feel like they came out with their best effort and we didn’t play that good and we still had a chance to win. So I feel like we’ll be OK.”

For what it’s worth, Crawford was right: The Bulls were desperate to win after losing the series opener at home and weren’t all that impressive in game two. This suddenly looks like a winnable series for the Hawks, which didn’t seem possible without Kirk Hinrich.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

42 comments Add your comment

Danny O

May 6th, 2011
12:48 pm

Zing

May 6th, 2011
12:59 pm

Precisely what I’ve been thinking– the Bulls just have not looked good; certainly not like a 62-game winner. (But then, the Spurs didn’t look like a 61-game winner. What is going on?)

The Hawks have looked like the team with better players… awesome. But odd.

I’ll take it.

Noah is a chick

May 6th, 2011
1:00 pm

Is Joakim Noah going to play in the WNBA during the summer, SHE’s an incredible player.

moorman

May 6th, 2011
1:02 pm

its ONLY winnable if josh smith suddenly realizes he is NOT ray allen, but dennis rodman. i been saying for years that smith is THE reason the hawks talent hasnt meshed. his dumbness makes the other players have a no care attitude at times because they know smith has power within the hawks organization, so it would be futile to throw smith under the bus ( horford, always HINTING, but not just coming out saying that smith is a dummy who hustles occasionally). its sad with joakim noah is schooling the hawks post. NO WAY he suppose to be running loose on the boards like that, ponytail and all, that shouldnt be happening………..

EW

May 6th, 2011
1:07 pm

Reporters are scum. Trying to drudge up some BS story and make the game out to be more than it is.

DC

May 6th, 2011
1:12 pm

Drinking game: everyone take a shot after Josh Smith takes a shot near the 3 pt line…you’ll be drunk within the first 5 minutes of the game.

Kaye

May 6th, 2011
1:15 pm

D. Rose

May 6th, 2011
1:15 pm

Oh well now that we have the full context of the quote I’d like to say that Mr. Crawford is dead on accurate in his assesment of the game and our team. His comments in now way will be motivation for me in game 3…Wait, MJ just called to let me know that if I don’t take these out of context comments personally and play my best game of the season, he’s done mentoring me. Guess that Hawks player is a real schmuck and it’s time for me to do my Ivan Drago vs Apollo Creed. I must destroy him!

Jack L

May 6th, 2011
1:16 pm

Yea this is no big deal, Crawford is a very smart guy, he know’s what he’s doin. Yea Moorman you are pretty accurate Smith reeeeeaaly needs to stop shooting. When he drives the lane he’s dynamite. When he shots he’s just way out of his element. But he occasioanlly makes shots and that gives him confidence. Its a no win situation. LETS GO HAWKS!

Sean

May 6th, 2011
1:17 pm

I think the most important media scrutiny so far in this series is coming from the media backlash about Josh Smith shooting from St. Louis several times in the game. Hopefully, this has the city talking enough to where the coaches have listened and will urge him to take smarter shots the rest of the way, giving us a real chance to advance to the conference finals.

Old Blue

May 6th, 2011
1:17 pm

Why doesn’t Noah wear earrings like the rest of the wannabe girls?

dirtybirdATL

May 6th, 2011
1:18 pm

Good post, the Bulls were desperate for a win, but we’ll get em 2nite at the Highlight Factory 4-1, book it

richie

May 6th, 2011
1:19 pm

IMO the bulls havent really looked “good” in any of there playoff games. I mean the struggled both at home and away with a young athletic indiana team and they struggled against a fairly young athletic hawks team. The bulls lack of playoff experience will be their ultimate downfall whether it be in this series or the next. BUT i do like the hawks chances with the way teague has stepped up

DC

May 6th, 2011
1:21 pm

Drinking game: take a shot each time a new blog comes up and “Kaye” posts that same youtube link…

Daniel

May 6th, 2011
1:21 pm

not only was Crawford’s comment accurate, Boozer’s response is laughable given the level of his “walking”[sic]

tom

May 6th, 2011
1:25 pm

the bulls havent’ played their best game of the post season. I don’t think the hawks have played their best game yet either.

wxwax

May 6th, 2011
1:27 pm

Crawford and Joe Johnson shot the lights out in Game 1.

They were poor in Game 2.

To me, it feels like Atlanta’s playoff hopes are riding on the shooting percentages of those two players, for they seem to be the key guys against Chicago.

Doc

May 6th, 2011
1:29 pm

Two points:

(1) The dominant player in Game 2 was Joaquim Noah. Love him or hate him. How do the Hawks let this happen? I can see Noah punishing you now and then, but dominating the game? Come on.

(2) There was one sequence where three Bulls, while trying to get an offensive rebound, were beating the crap out of Josh Smith. After knocking him to the floor, Noah slam dunked. Where were the other four Hawks?

(3) What the hell is wrong with Al Horford? He has been a wonderful asset since the day he signed. Now he’s standing 20 feet from the basket and missing every shot. It’s almost like there are two Josh Smith’s on the court. Horford is the key to the series. He needs to pound the boards like Noah does and cancel Noah’s numbers.

Doc

Doc

May 6th, 2011
1:30 pm

Er, make that THREE points.
Doc

jay

May 6th, 2011
1:34 pm

Maybe talking smack will force the Hawks into playing well……

jmarable

May 6th, 2011
1:36 pm

coach drew has to hold josh accountable when he takes those bone head jump shots with an open lane to the basket looking at him. He has to take him out right then and there,everytime he tries 2 play the point comming down court with A GUARD NEXT 2 him. take him out . Woodson did not let josh take those bone head jumpers, he would take him out. in fact he only took 6 or 7 all yr, and had a wonderful season. part of having a good basketball IQ is knowing your limitations,because when u dont, u can kill your team.case and point josh smith killing the hawks,not the bulls.just drive the ball josh, someone will foul u. your jumper aint happening. and he knows it.

Marcus

May 6th, 2011
1:42 pm

Schultzie,
this is part of the propaganda ………. just imagine the collective heart palpatations the local Chicago media and the national pundits would have had IF the Hawks had pulled out a ‘W’ in game 2 …
alas, the Bulls won so all is right with the world now (in their eyes)…. [sarcasm off]

Someone (national pundit or local Philly guy in my area) said it best this year in regards to Butler and VCU making the Final 4: Cinderella is OK when it doesn’t threaten the elite … nobody wants a true underdog in the championship game. People pay to see the best play against the best ..

sad reality … a BCS and March Madness bias exists even at the professional level.

tyger

May 6th, 2011
1:58 pm

tyger

May 2nd, 2011
3:19 pm

Hawks in 7, here’s why?

1. LD will devise a D to neutralize Rose. I suggest a zone blitz.
2. Hawks mentally/physically/spiritually tougher after Magic series.
3. Individual matchups are pretty even overall.
4. JJ’s playing better, his domination of Korver/Brewer is key.
5. Teague contributes after watching Rocky I, II, III, IV.
6. Damian ain’t scared to throw ‘dem bows.
7. Smoove/Deng is a good matchup, younger legs prevail in 7.
8. Horford has Noah’s number.
9. Big lineup will neutralize Noah, Thomas, Boozer.
10. Watson scares me.

Marcus

May 6th, 2011
2:02 pm

Game 2 had the look of ‘Falcons v. Saints in 1st game back in Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, 2006′ written all over it … we know how that turned out (thanks NFL)…..but like JC1 said, we were in it late despite MULTIPLE (compounding) mistakes on the Hawks part, including Josh throwing up ill-timed moon shots, our biggs acting like they were rebounding a porcupine instead of a basketball, Joe and JC1 having Bull defenders up their Hanes t-shirts, and near double-digit misses within point blank range (5′ or less).

Lets hope we sustain the confidence and not get overconfident.

PMS

May 6th, 2011
2:18 pm

ummm Hawks did their job…..they took home field from Chicago. Leave it at that

Cliff Levingston

May 6th, 2011
2:18 pm

This one is WAYYY better than Kayes post. Check these ballers out! HAWKS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfXYyCJYY40

Zing

May 6th, 2011
2:53 pm

Drinking game: every time someone posts some homophobic comment about Noah, take a shot. You’ll be comatose before the game even starts tonight.

DC

May 6th, 2011
2:58 pm

Trojan

May 6th, 2011
3:08 pm

I wish someone would actually tell Noah how stupid he actually looks.

SWAT Native

May 6th, 2011
3:40 pm

All this means is that the Chicago media is starting to take the Hawks seriously. They know the Bulls have a real chance at losing this series.

RomeDawg

May 6th, 2011
4:14 pm

Dear Jamal,

I agree that we have a great shot at winning this series, however, if that is to happen you or JJ need to step up and tell Josh Smith that he can no longer take jump shots. His job is to be the trash man and clean up on rebounds and put backs. This will require he put forth effort, something he is not always known for, and to quit bitching at the refs. If he dribbles more than three times or takes a shot outside of 10 feet you need to be committed to breaking his knee cap.

Thanks,

Hawks Fan since ‘85.

P.S. Please tell Horford his presence is also requested at tonights game!

bjrufino

May 6th, 2011
4:45 pm

joakim noah is a big cry baby, he always screams!

ag

May 6th, 2011
4:51 pm

I have commented before that taking those ‘bad’ shots is not a BB IQ problem. It is a Josh trying to be the hero problem. When he shot that trey late in the 4th quarter, he would have closed the gap. Like LD says, he is trying to do to much. He rarely shoots a jumper that is well defended and it is usually wide open.

He is being lazy for not banging for post up position, or slashing to the hole because he will get fouled. Shooting a jumper is the easy way out.

He actually has a very high BB IQ and you can tell with some of the plays he makes.

I question his BB IQ sometimes when running the break (not getting it to the point guard and filling one of the lanes) or even boxing out his man.

Cousin Vicker

May 6th, 2011
5:05 pm

To all those that say Hawks in 7, let me assure you, the Hawks will not win a game 7 on the road in a charged chicago atmosphere. I believe the Hawks get a split at home, and that game 5 will prove to be the difference. Basically, it’s going to be either Hawks in 6 or bulls in 7. If it goes 7, we will not win this thing.

The Game Has Changed

May 6th, 2011
5:16 pm

@Cousin Vicker-Dont worry it wont go 7. There will only be one more game this year in Chicago. This series will playout the same way the Orlando series played out. The Bulls did have a better regular season but this is a new season. We have more weapons than the Bulls. If we tire him on the defensive end on the court we will be in good shape. Even if they somehow won this game tonight they would just regain homecourt but the Hawks can win in Chicago.

Boozer Bummer

May 6th, 2011
5:19 pm

Boozer is such a wannabe gangster..fail.

Buckeye

May 6th, 2011
5:39 pm

If Naoh is a chick, she’s one ugly chick.

Need a fast start. Get the crowd going.

Go Hawks!

[...] If you missed it, Jamal Crawford’s comments from after game two — “If that’s their best shot, we’re in good shape.” — were [...]

meng

May 6th, 2011
7:15 pm

fluke game 1 for the hawks. i respect jj, he’s great but the hawks arent gonna shoot like that again this series. they finally came back to earth game 2. bulls havent even played close to their best yet.

GO BULLS.

David Remrey

May 6th, 2011
10:18 pm

Hey Jeff, I live in the Chicago area, we aren’t make a big deal about that comment. Also, the comment about the Bulls seem desperate, Wow! what Kool-Aid are you drinking!!! Are you a teabagger?

Que

May 7th, 2011
8:11 am

I agree with David. Jeff, it seem you are the only one making the implausible story lines. Google “Jamal Crawford throws down gauntlet!” the only place you find this “headline” is this website and subsequent re-posts. I also certainly see much by way of the television media here in Chicago, certainly an exaggeration on Jeff’s part. Again, I also agree with David that this article does its best to make the Bulls player’s comments seem unreasonable, yet Rose’s “that wasn’t our best game” and “he’s entitled to his opinion” comments is hardly trading-trash talk. If a Hawks player was told a Bulls player thought Game 1 was their best game and the Bulls felt they were in good position, you would easily expect at least the same reaction from Hawks players (and media). What are they suppose to say, “you know, I think he’s right?” Come on. These are both talented teams that obviously respect one another. It is Jeff that is trying his best to ignite “grease-fire level”

T Money

May 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

I stumbled upon this article. I’m a bulls fan. Sounds like Crawford was back tracking. Hawks r going down!!!! How did that 44 feel guys!!!! Since rose doesn’t talk smack in the papers, and let’s his game talk for him, I’ll translate….. “NOTlanta is in for a 5 game exit!!”